ACOSS calls on Government to help unemployed Australians in federal budget

10 May 2010

ACOSS is looking to tomorrow’s Federal Budget to provide assistance to unemployed Australians and is urging the Government to introduce a paid work experience scheme and lift unemployment payment rates.

“Over 600,000 Australians are currently out of work and they need targeted assistance to help them reconnect to the workforce,” said Clare Martin, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service.

“Many of Australia’s jobless are young people who require appropriate and well-targeted training and supports to help them into work.

“ACOSS is advocating for the introduction of a paid work experience program for long-term unemployed people which is designed to transition participants into mainstream employment. The program would improve the confidence of jobseekers, as well as build job skills and networks that will assist with job search.

“Unemployed Australians need assistance to move into work and an adequate income while they look for work.

“The Newstart allowance is less than half the minimum wage and we are calling on Government to lift the single base unemployment payments by $45 per week. This would mean a single person would receive $276 per week, instead of the inadequate $231 per week currently received.

“A boost to the Newstart payment would assist people pay for the rising costs of groceries, rent and power.”

Media Contact: Clare Cameron, ACOSS – 0419 626 155